March 13th, ten minutes before school ended, an announcement that spring break would be moved to the next week played. Excitement and confusion erupted from my classmates, hugs were given between friends, while I complained it was a week earlier than the new Animal Crossing release, so what was the point?

Returning home to hear I could not go out the next day felt unfair, as I had waited for this plan for weeks. Blaming it on my nurse of a mother being overprotective, I sulked and waited a week for this game to be released. News of school going online broke, and my obsession increased. I felt the world knew it needed this game, perfect to have fun with friends near and far, and I was not alone in this. After waiting years for this game, I watched as many others looking for something to do too got hooked. I was only happy to share something that brought me comfort for years. 

Hundreds of hours logged in only weeks, and back to the drawing board. Going back to drawing was something I could learn for me, and no one else. Reading and music, an outlet to distract and bring joy. A room makeover to fit a piano only added to things to learn. Learning how to enjoy my own company again, and how it is okay to take time for yourself when you need it.

I only hope this time to create, slow down, and learn more effectively, forcing us to find joy in the small things, like good weather to shine through our windows and take pictures in our backyard, does not stop when things return. The world knew we needed to slow down, and could only do this, forcing it on us. Watching others be selfish, while others are following the rule and still suffering hurts everyone. To stay the same is to stay sick, especially now. There has never been a better time to learn how you can best help others, even if it is as simple as staying home.

Laura Burke is a student at West Warwick High School in West Warwick, Rhode Island.

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